Larry Dignan is reporting that major Yahoo Shareholder Legg Mason is insisting that Yahoo make a Microsoft deal, though they hope and may expect MS to up the offer past 31 and up to 40, which Fund manager Miller stated appears to have been MS’s highest previous offer over the past year of flirting with Yahoo about a merger.
Miller says about Legg Mason’s position:
We think this deal is a strategic imperative for MSFT, and that YHOO is in a tough spot if it wishes to remain independent.
Strategic imperative or not, Yahoo can’t expect investors to sit back and wait for something to happen when this much money is on the table. In fact I think investors are already upset that Yahoo is basically suggesting this is their course of action – waiting for prosperity to fall upon them but not in the form of Microsoft.
I should say that given the market’s horrible reaction to the aquisition I’m not at all clear this is good for *Microsoft*. If they screw up managing Yahoo and/or Yahoo can’t revived it’s sagging profitability fast this could go down as a Time Warner AOL fiasco kind of move for Microsoft. However, if they want Yahoo I think Microsoft’s strategy from this point on can be very simple:
1. Offer $34 per share publicly and loudly.
2. Call Legg Mason and other big holders, and tell them this is *OFF* if Yahoo keeps waffling.
3. Bring in fat lady to sing …. it’s over.
Disclosed: Long on Yahoo.